On Thursday, officials from Limetree Bay announced adjustments to the company’s protocols for contractor personnel returning to the facility after traveling. The new procedures call for all contractor personnel to be tested before arriving on St. Croix and then isolated for 72 hours after arrival before being tested again for the COVID-19 virus.
Limetree has tested all contractor personnel who traveled to the island since May 2020, prior to their release to work. In addition, Limetree is offering COVID-19 testing at no cost to family members of employees who are returning to St. Croix.
Limetree Bay’s executive management team also confirmed on Thursday that five persons working at the facility and one newly arrived contractor recently tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. As the safety and health of the Limetree Bay’s workers continue to be a top priority, the president and CEO reaffirmed the company’s commitment to preventing the spread of COVID-19 within the facility.
“We have seen a significant spike in cases across the country, and we recognize that the potential for exposure to COVID-19 is much greater now that restrictions on travel and socializing are easing nationwide,” said Brian Lever. “In response, we have ramped up our protocols to include broader testing of individuals outside of those who travel to St. Croix, deep sanitization of common areas daily, and implementing a mandatory facial covering requirement,” said Lever.
Existing protocols in place include:
- Testing of all off-island arrivals
- Temperature screening at all entry points
- Social distancing requirement within vehicles and facility
- Increased sanitization schedules throughout the facility daily
- Mandatory facial covering requirement within six feet of another person
- Isolation and quarantine wings available
- Weekly reporting of all contractors travelling to St. Croix and test results to the Department of Health
Since the pandemic started, Limetree Bay has taken prudent steps to limit the spread of the virus. These include:
- Over 1,400 COVID-19 tests administered (including both ProHealth and in the U.S. mainland).
- a) 100 percent of contractor travelers tested since May 1, 2020
- b) All testing conducted at private facilities at Limetree Bay’s cost so as not to burden the public health department
- c) Multiple tests administered to many individuals (both rapid and PCR) to improve the confidence in the results
- More than 300,000 temperature screens (daily screenings for 100 percent of the people entering facility since April)
- Immediate isolation and quarantine through “contact tracing” with subsequent COVID-19 testing of individuals who may have come in contact with persons under investigation
- Immediate quarantine for anyone exhibiting symptoms or testing positive for COVID-19
- Stopped all contractor travel to the USVI for six weeks, and have subsequently restricted travel
- Implemented full policies and procedures for social distancing, additional cleaning, and personal protective equipment
As a result of the steps taken, we have limited the spread of the virus within the site and the Limetree Village.
Limetree Bay continues to work with the V.I. Department of Health to ensure that the protocols being implemented will help to mitigate any possible spread of the virus within the facility, as well as to the community, and to provide reporting requirements as needed.